TERRE HAUTE —
As if it couldn’t get worse, politicians in Washington have again tied themselves in knots.
Yes, we know. What else is new?
This time the bloviating comes courtesy of recent revelations by a National Security Agency contractor that secretive programs exist that some believe represent a serious breach of personal privacy and civil liberties.
These issues are important, of course. But it should come as no surprise that such programs are being carried out in America’s defense, security and intelligence communities. In the wake of 9/11, an uneasy consensus was reached across our country that more aggressive action was needed to protect Americans from future terrorist attacks, even if that meant giving up some of the personal freedoms to which we had become accustomed.
There is no doubt the country is more secure today than before terrorists struck the homeland on 9/11 and killed thousands of people. There is also no doubt that things have changed, drastically in some cases, to achieve that newfound security. Have you been through airport security lately?
While the fear of terrorism has eroded our sense of freedom, in some cases too much, we understand why this has happened and are not going to feign outrage just because the opportunity exists.
We’re also pleased that Indiana’s senior senator, Dan Coats, penned an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal this week decrying the way in which too many of his congressional colleagues have mischaracterized the revelations to “advance their personal and political agendas.”
Sen. Coats is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and is well aware of programs that are being operated by the NSA. He said they have allowed the government to thwart dozens of terrorist attacks and are being monitored to ensure they don’t go too far in abridging civil liberties. What’s more, he says those members of Congress now expressing such umbrage have known about the programs, or should have known about them, and rarely spoke out or voted against them when they had the opportunity.
“These programs are legal, constitutional and used only under the strict oversight of all three branches of the government, including a highly scrutinized judicial process,” Coats writes. “Furthermore, members of both political parties review, audit and authorize all activities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I can attest that few issues garner more of our attention than the oversight of these programs.”
In his most pointed remarks, Coats made it clear what he thinks about how this issue has become laced in partisan politics.
“Mischaracterizing national-security programs for political gain is irresponsible and has the potential to weaken the country’s defenses,” He writes. “Members of Congress must remain vigilant in the face of misleading information about the substance and utility of our counterterrorism activities.”
Amid the wailing and gnashing of partisan teeth all around the Capitol, Coats’ words need to be heard and considered.
Sen. Coats talks sense about security leaks
TERRE HAUTE —
As if it couldn’t get worse, politicians in Washington have again tied themselves in knots.
Editorial: The Bennett ‘settlement’
It takes a special kind of arrogance to flout ethics laws in the manner which former state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett has violated them. Even when he finally admitted his transgressions, he claimed he could have avoided the matter altogether had he just changed the department’s ethics policy before engaging in the troublesome conduct.
In essence, this was the old “mistakes were made” acknowledgment of wrongdoing. And the real mistake to which Bennett admits was apparently not changing the rules before he violated them. This is a truly Nixonian moment.
EDITORIAL: A green idea worth pursuing
It sounds like a blue-ribbon idea.
EDITORIAL: Be safe, be responsible
The Independence Day weekend brought a brief respite in construction work on area roadways. In particular, it provided needed relief to the congested segment of Interstate 70 in Clay County that is undergoing resurfacing this summer.
Editorial: City financial health demands an open, honest discussion
Obscured by the recent rift over use of departmental funds in the city of Terre Haute’s budget are serious issues related to our city government’s overall financial health. The answers may be mired in the complexity of municipal finance, but coming to grips with the situation is important to the city’s future.
EDITORIAL: Celebrate your independence
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
As eloquent and declaratory as that statement is, implementing its principles has been a decades-long pursuit for these United States of America. Our nation, it seems, is the quintessential work in progress, even though what this country has created in terms of a stable, collective society is, let’s face it, pretty darn good.
Editorial: Texting law serves safety
July 1 each year marks the day in Indiana when new laws take effect. But rather than focus on new laws today, let’s observe the anniversary of a law that went on the books three years ago this month — the law that barred texting while driving.
EDITORIAL: For kids, an immediate need
If you agree that not much is sadder — and potentially more unsettling to our society — than a child torn from his or her home, here is a way you can make a difference, one kid at a time.
Editorial: A center for the future
The Monday morning “groundbreaking” at the site of the new Vigo Schools Aquatic Center in Voorhees Park was largely ceremonial. It will still be a few weeks before work on the $9.8 million facility actually begins. But that didn’t stop the highly anticipated event from taking place, and it was clear from remarks made by a host of VIPs who took turns at the podium that this project is destined to produce great things.
EDITORIAL: A proud moment for Vigo County
Most people, regardless of their personal opinions or beliefs on the matter, will admit that they knew the day was coming when Indiana’s law banning same-sex marriages would be overturned by a federal judge. It has happened in other states that have encountered the issue.
EDITORIAL: Getting smart about fighting crime
When those “CSI” TV shows began to burst on the scene in 2000, viewers were mesmerized by the flashy scientific and technological methods police labs were using to build cases against criminals.
EDITORIAL: Forging ahead
Life in the digital world has changed drastically for many community institutions. But the Vigo County Public Library, which has navigated various minefields of change in recent years, has shown it can adapt, even improve.
EDITORIAL: More needed from Speaker
Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma did what most people expected he would do in the wake of Speaker Pro Tem Eric Turner’s ethics probe.
EDITORIAL: A woman in the House
The twists and turns of politics can produce unpredictable results. Just ask Bionca Gambill.
EDITORIAL: Enticing more students back to campus a worthwhile initiative
Of all of the educational initiatives paraded before Indiana residents in recent years — some ideas worthy, others flops — none seems more timely or more on point than one approved by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education last week.
EDITORIAL: Celebrating local success
It’s always an uplifting occasion when good things happen to good people. And so we join in the celebration of three people who this week achieved a new level of success and recognition for their professional and personal contributions to life in Terre Haute and the Wabash Valley.
EDITORIAL: Shoring up the VA
How America cares for its veterans is indicative of its values as a nation. We’re confident the vast majority of citizens agree that health care for military vets through the country’s network of VA hospitals should meet or exceed common-sense expectations.
Editorial: Playing the Nazi card
There was good news to report from the Indiana Republican Party Convention conducted last weekend in Fort Wayne. The GOP nominated three women to top its general election ballot in November. There isn’t much gender equity in Hoosier politics, so seeing these three rise to the top of the Republican ballot this year is refreshing. But perhaps the best news is that Richard Mourdock, two-term state treasurer and unsuccessful candidate for U.S. Senate in 2012, will no longer hold public office at the end of this year.
EDITORIAL: Cleaner environment will help boost city’s image
In Terre Haute, the difference is becoming apparent between responsible stewardship of the environment and a look-the-other-way attitude about dumping harmful materials.
EDITORIAL: Ernie Pyle’s words told a personal story
Today is the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the day when Allied Forces led by the United States military invaded France on the beaches at Normandy. It was the crucial turning point of World War II against Nazi Germany. To observe this somber anniversary, we have given this page’s editorial space the past three days to the columns written by Ernie Pyle in the invasion’s aftermath. Pyle filed three columns about D-Day that were circulated widely in American newspapers beginning June 12, 1944. The first appeared Wednesday. The second appeared Thursday. This is the final column.
EDITORIAL: Ernie Pyle walked the beaches of Normandy
NORMANDY BEACHHEAD, June 16, 1944 — I took a walk along the historic coast of Normandy in the country of France.
It was a lovely day for strolling along the seashore. Men were sleeping on the sand, some of them sleeping forever. Men were floating in the water, but they didn’t know they were in the water, for they were dead.
EDITORIAL: Remembering D-Day — in the words of Ernie Pyle
NORMANDY BEACHHEAD, June 12, 1944 — Due to a last-minute alteration in the arrangements, I didn’t arrive on the beachhead until the morning after D-day, after our first wave of assault troops had hit the shore. By the time we got here the beaches had been taken and the fighting had moved a couple of miles inland. All that remained on the beach was some sniping and artillery fire, and the occasional startling blast of a mine geysering brown sand into the air. That plus a gigantic and pitiful litter of wreckage along miles of shoreline.
EDITORIAL: Rape, sexual assault demand greater attention
When the facts, figures, commentary and analysis about the devastating impact of rape in our society have been consumed, the daunting, even haunting, question is: What can we do to stop it?
Editorial: GOP takes up marriage battle — again
All eyes will focus on Indiana’s dominant political party next week as it meets to nominate candidates to statewide office for the fall election. But nominating candidates won’t be the item on the Indiana GOP convention’s agenda that garners the most attention. Rather, the public will be watching how delegates handle a proposal to reintroduce the concept of supporting the state’s same-sex marriage ban, which was deleted from the party’s platform during a previous convention.
Editorial: Sycamores march on into NCAA baseball tourney
The traditional academic year at Indiana State University ended earlier this month, so a quieter time has fallen over the Terre Haute campus. But Sycamore pride is swelling this week nonetheless. ISU’s baseball team was selected on Monday to the field of 64 for the 2014 NCAA Baseball Tournament.
Liz Ciancone: Jail? He’ll cross that bridge when he gets to it
Sometimes when I’m feeling as if I’m running on empty, someone will toss me an offbeat idea I would never have been able to dream up on my own. And so it was when a friend brought me a clipping from her hometown newspaper over in Illinois.
Editorial: Never too late for another tradition at the Indy 500
The Indianapolis 500 endures on a unique mix of tradition and change.
Ronn Mott: Always sad when good die young
I think I’ve written or talked about funerals since I came back to Indiana in 1986. I had gone to about six or seven funerals or visitations at that point in time. Since then, I have attended approximately 50 or so of them.
This past week I went to a visitation for Bradley Deetz.
EDITORIAL: Noteworthy in the news
Another great year on the track
Heavy hearts for nun’s passing
EDITORIAL: Fixing Vigo’s vote centers
Concerns over flaws in Vigo County’s new voting system have settled in the weeks since regional vote centers were rolled out to replace precinct voting sites in the May 6 primary election. But the Vigo County Election Board does indeed have some work to do to improve the system’s performance by the November general election.
Editorial: Play ball!!
Terre Haute’s rich baseball history is well-documented, with famous names such as Mordecai “Three-finger” Brown, Max Carey and Tommy John among those with strong local ties. So it’s fitting to see all the activity this week at Indiana State University’s Bob Warn Field, site of the 2014 Missouri Valley Conference baseball tournament. Eight teams, including second-seed ISU, are vying for an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament — and potentially the College World Series.
- More Editorials Headlines
- Editorial: The Bennett ‘settlement’